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PUBLICATIONS A potent wound healing agent

A recent paper in the Journal of Medical Chemistry is attracting national and international media interest. The research by a team from the Centre for Bisodiscovery and Molecular Development of Therapuetics, suggests that a molecule derived from the human parasitic liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini may have such powerful wound healing properties, that thousands of amputations could be prevented each year.

Around one in seven diabetics in Australia at some point have a non-healing wound. It is estimated about 12 Australian diabetics each day had a limb amputated because of a non-healing wound.

BMDT researchers are harnessing the molecule produced by a Thai liver fluke parasite that they believe can "supercharge" the healing of wounds. BMDT's Michael Smout told the ABC that non-healing wounds were of particular concern for diabetics and smokers.

Dr Smout said the parasite used the molecule to keep its host healthy and prolong its own life. The researchers have developed a cream containing the molecule that has been successfully tested on mice. 

He said he hoped it could become a treatment for humans, at first applied under doctor's supervision, but potentially as a take-home treatment.

Read the original paper here:

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